As CIO for the District of Columbia, Vivek Kundra helped usher in the era of open government by saying that he wanted to “democratize” government data – putting it in to the hands of talented people outside of government that could build useful things with it.
Thinking about the hundreds of civic hacking events that have taken place and the thousands of government data sets that have been released since the original Apps for Democracy contest kicked the movement off a few years ago, I think it can rightly be said that the original vision for open data has been realized.
More and more governments are moving to open up their data to developers and entrepreneurs, and making open data the cornerstone of their government transparency efforts. Large cities are starting to collaborate and think strategically about how to maximize the value of their data, civic app developers and entrepreneurs are networking, policies are being written, officials are being appointed.
But we still have more work to do to truly democratize open data.